This post contains spoilers for Pam and Tommy season 1 episode 4, “The Master Beta”. For the head of the previous episode here.
Several months have passed since Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen) enacted the shameless robbery at the heart of Pam and Tommy and began using the internet to distribute the illegally acquired sex tape. “The Master Beta” opens with a montage illustrating the global reach of this business model before switching to Pam (Lily James) and Tommy (Sebastian Stan) finding out she’s pregnant. “Guess what, assholes? I am going to be a dad ! On purpose!” announces the delighted rock star to his comrades. Unfortunately, this festive atmosphere will be short-lived when they discover that their most intimate moments are watched by complete strangers.
The two stories merge when the couple finally discovers the theft of the safe and everything inside. So far, Rand has had fun going about his illicit business by “harnessing the power of the web.” Although he doesn’t make as much money as he might have expected, he has enough money to repay Erica (Taylor Schilling) $400, but not enough to cover the divorce. When he visits her on set, the title card informs us that it’s now January 1996 and another character is in hiding trying to introduce these adult entertainment stars to the webcam world. The VHS revolution has transformed this industry, but that has nothing to do with what’s going to happen online in the next few years.
Clandestine copies of the stolen tape are sold at Tower Records before Pam and Tommy even know the tape has been posted online for the first time. The pair head to a public library to use internet facilities so they can confirm what they already fear to be true.
“The Master Beta” depicts the firestorm that follows – including the loss of their baby. In fact, Anderson had a miscarriage in 1995; the series altered and compressed events to fit the narrative (it should be noted once again that the actress did not participate in the making).
We will separate fact from fiction in the limited series Pam and Tommy. This episode-by-episode guide continues with the discovery of the stolen safe, the paparazzi‘s efforts to snap a photo of the couple, and why a biker gang got involved.
When did Pam and Tommy realize their safe was missing?
In 2022, it’s hard to imagine a news story about a stolen sex tape a month before the couple even realized there had been a theft, but that’s exactly what happened to Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.
Journalist Amanda Chicago Lewis (whose Rolling Stone article was adapted to create the series) Remarks in this 2014 deep dive, the Daily Mail’s late 1995 review “mentioned that a video of the two having sex on a yacht was supposedly for sale in Los Angeles.” The discovery of the missing safe wasn’t made until mid-January, when Lee was dismantling the studio and “saw nothing but an empty space where the safe had once been.” strong”. Lee remember this discovery in Mötley Crüe’s autobiography Dirtiness, but in the series, it is when the future dad puts the ultrasound image in the safe that he realizes that it has been stolen. anderson has been pregnant at this time but with their first son Brandon (born May 1996).
The couple hired top private eye (and recently back in business) Anthony Pellicano (played by Don Harvey). Although he doesn’t speak to Uncle Miltie (Nick Offerman) before he flees to Amsterdam in Pam and Tommy, Pellicano caught up with the “money guy” in real life. Similar to what actually happened, the PI quickly deduces that one of the contractors who had done work on the Malibu house had the opportunity and also the motive – rather than one of the famous people that Tommy said to have a grudge against him. However, Miltie did not denounce Gauthier, as he claims he got the video from the interior designer of couples Guerin Swing.
How intense were the paparazzi?
Very. It started as soon as they returned from their whirlwind trip to Cancún, which Lee describes in Dirtiness (and was depicted in the second episode).
“The moment we got off the plane at LAX, the shit storm hit. The airport was crawling with fucking photographers. We made our way to my car and drove to my house. looked up the hill over the house and guys with cameras were camping everywhere.
Anderson and Lee had both had a high-profile relationship before, but Lee calls this attention “a whole different level of harassment” which even included the extreme low of chasing the ambulance Anderson was in when she made a fake lying down. Tabloid photographers continued to snap pictures of Anderson as she went to hospital in October 1995 (when she was pregnant with Brandon).
While Lee had several run-ins with photographers (including to get arrested for pointing a sawed-off shotgun at a) the moment Anderson smashes into a paparazzi-owned car after losing their baby at the end of Episode 4 is pure cathartic fantasy.
What is Tommy’s connection to the biker gang?
the third episode featured mob involvement, and in “The Master Beta”, Rand has several close calls with a motorcycle gang who have been sent to destroy all copies of the tape – and to find Rand. Chicago Lewis explains this connection to a motorcycle gang in Los Angeles goes through the head of security at Mötely Crüe, who was a former Hells Angel, although Gauthier told him it was “a Mexican gang called the Bandidos” . Pam and Tommy opts for the first choice and the group shows up at Miltie’s studio after a visit from Tommy.
This episode also shows the bikers using an image of Rand on the cover of an adult movie he starred in, but they initially identify the wrong guy as the thief. It seems somewhat implausible or an invention of the writers, but Chicago Lewis reports that this event actually happens. Again this story is stranger than fiction.